Sunday, May 29, 2005

Moving Aboard

We're home.

That is to say we are now officially living aboard Enee Marie. Yesterday, thanks to Pat V.'s truck we moved lots of stuff around. We emptied out the storage space we had rented and took stuff to Leah's and to Sue's sister. We then moved out of the hotel (still too much stuff) and picked up the dingy and outboard from the storage place. On the way to the harbor we stopped to adjust the cover we had put over our stuff (an old sail). We both got out of the car with the engine running...and accidently locked the doors! How embarassing! After some futile attempts to unlock the door with a piece of metal strapping I found we called Pat to come with his other key.

Finally at the harbor we got a slip over at North Point Marina and moved Enee to nearly the end of a VERY long pier. Scott then made MANY trips with the little dock cart bring stuff to the boat. Sue stayed aboard the started the big job of stowing stuff away in the various hidey holes (don't say hole!) aboard. After about 3 hours of this we cleaned up as best we could, put the outboard on the stern rail and the dinging on the foredeck. Whew! Time for a cocktail drink and our first night aboard.

Good sleeping!

Pics below show some "highlights"

Happy crew Sue Posted by Hello

The happy (and exhausted) captain. Posted by Hello

Making progress! Posted by Hello

Nothing makes a boat look more like home (to us) then putting books on the shelves. Posted by Hello

So many little time. Posted by Hello

All this stuff fits on this boat...right? Posted by Hello

Somehow, Gracie suspects something unusual is about to happen. Must be instinct! Posted by Hello

Here comes Enee! The gang at Skipper Bud's did their usual excellent job launching Enee. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Yesterday we once again visited "Enee Marie" to see that her mast had in fact been stepped by the yard. I adjusted the tension a little on the shrouds but will tune more finely later. We put the boom and sails on as well. NOW it looks like a sailboat again and the reality of the trip just increased 200%!

Sue will be present on Friday for the launch. Still an unknown is how high the water will squirt from the packing nut on the shaft. We repacked it but, on the hard, have now idea how tight to make it. Sue will be ready with wrench in hand!

Those of you frustrated by not being able to leave comments (Brian R.), that has now been fixed and thanks for alerting me to that. So, comment away!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

The last rudder blog...I hope

OK. Today we returned to the boat to put bottom paint on the rudder and attach it for real to the boat. All went well as the pictures below will attest. Additional little projects were involved in making sure the mast was ready for stepping tomorrow. We replaced some connectors and cleaned some other so all the lights on the mast now work. First time for that since we've owned the boat!

Friday the 27th we get launched. During that weekend we will move our remaining stuff aboard. We'll live aboard then in North Point Marina until June 7 and then sail to Burnham Harbor in preparation for our party on the 11th. Hope to see you then!

Here you can see the one of the bolts going in to attach the steering to the shaft. Posted by Hello

No, Scott is not napping. He's attaching the steering quadrant to the rudder shaft. Posted by Hello

Look at Sue twist...those...nuts! Wow! Somebody outta marry that woman! Posted by Hello

And here are the proud owners of (finally) of their new rudder. Looks good AND it moves both left and right! Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 21, 2005

The rudder is IN!

Yes faithful readers (OK, I know its only me) it's true. Today we successfully installed our new rudder. Finally! This is after two trips to Hill Mechanical and quite intense consultation with Jimmy and Larry who are machinists extrodinaire! Turns out that the through bolt was not only not through a diameter but also canted in a vertical direction. No real good way to hit both holes now since this is an unknown angle. Jimmy and Larry came up with a brilliant solution. They tapped the holes in the shaft so two bolts could be turned down on each side of the quadrant rather than a through bolt. Some lock washers and some locktite and we should be good to go.

Assembly is a little difficult as the pictures will attest. After a first attempt we took the rudder back out (Hey, why not? What's one more lift?) and practiced a procedure on the ground where we could see what we were doing. We also made some reference marks to know that the holes are perfectly matched up before blindly fiddling with a bolt and trying to start the threads.

We then cleaned the rudder and coated it with three coats of epoxy. Tomorrow this will be dry and we'll give it a couple of coats of bottom paint.

In other news our mast was rolled over to our boat to be ready for stepping (standing it back up on the boat. Why is this called stepping?). This gave us a chance to put the antenna and wind-o-meter back on the top and to put rigging tape around the bolts at the end of the spreaders. We plan to go up Tuesday and put on the boom and the sails!

We sail in 22 days but we party in 21. Hope to see you there!

The rudder is finally completely unwrapped and ready for installation. Posted by Hello

Attaching the quadrant...tight space! Posted by Hello

Hill Mechanical's brilliant invention. Thanks to Jimmy and Larry! Posted by Hello

Applying 3 coats of epoxy to the rudder. Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 19, 2005

When you ASSUME you...

OK, I wasn't going to publish a post about what an idiot I am but if I adopt that rule I may never write again. So, here's the latest on the rudder.

We took the rudder to Hill Mechanical in Chicago to have the two holes drilled in the shaft. I had previously put the rudder in and marked where the holes go rather than just copy the old rudder to make sure I got it "just right". The top cap is easy because you can see it right there in the cockpit. The steering quadrant connects down below where it is small and dark and hard to see. There is a bolt that goes right through the shaft here through some plates that firmly connects the quadrant to the shaft. I could only see the head of the bolt and not the other side of the shaft. No problem. As long as I mark where this hole is I can still have the shop drill straight through a diameter there which they did.

Oh no! You built it just like I said!

Upon trying to reassemble on Tuesday I discoverd that my assumption about this bolt going right through the diameter was wrong. It is canted at an angle through the shaft. If I had dissassemble the quadrant and brought it out into the light like I SHOULD have done I would have discoved this. I would have given the shop the entire thing and just said, "Make it like this".

So, Wednesday I had to take the rudder back to Hill. They are now welding and redrillilng. I hope to get it back tomorrow so I can really, really install it on Saturday. This time for sure, right?

The hard part about working on your own boat is that you do each job once and never get good at any of them.

No other major updates. As you can see, party plans are coming along. I hope you all come down and help us celebrate. It won't belong before I can start checking the long range forcast!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Goo Works!

We arrived back at the boat today with great excitement (snort) to see how the goo (epoxy) had set. All looks good! The new black washer is now firmly attached to the rudder at (nearly) the correct angle to mesh with the old hull. Hole marks are still good and the rudder was then delivered to oh so dependable nephew Brian so he can take it to the metal shop of Chicago's finest Hill Mechanical for drilling. We should have it on Tuesday for final (oh Newton please!) attachment to the boat.

Here's what I learned during this outfitting process:

1. If you think you should replace your thru-hulls, don't. Just buy a St. Chris medal and turn Catholic
2. If you think you should replace your rudder, don't. Just get lots of tape and epoxy and random boards to make an emergency rudder out of.

Actually, I learned a lot. I just hope water doesn't squirt into my boat!

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Return of rudder

Our new rudder has arrived. We excitedly picked it up at Skipper Bud today and were anxious to put it in so as to mark where the holes have to be drilled for the quadrant and the top cap. But first...DAmn! The thing rubs against the hull at the skeg. Many hours spent grinding away bits of the boat and bits of the rudder to alieviate the rubbing. We're just about there. We think.

Second problem is more subtle. Once again the top face of the rudder is not parallel to the hull at the rudder post so the rings don't mush correctly into rudder and hull the way they should. The solution to this was to build a dam and fill with epoxy to support the rings where the gap was. See pictures to get more confused.

Other small jobs were messed with. We are just about exactly 1 month from setting sail. This rudder has to be installed pretty damn soon!

Best of all today was we got to spend time with our friends Chuck and Mary Beth. We helped them a little with their new Catalina 30 - Halcyon. A fine ship she is too! A good time was had by all and Scott and Sue have now officially been married 17 years.

Tomorrow the goo should be dry and we can deliver the rudder to nephew Brian so that Hill Mechanical in Chicago can drill the two holes we need drilled.

We are really close now.

OK, the new rudder has been returned and we are anxious to install... Posted by Hello

Other problem: The new rudder scrapes against the skeg. We had to grind away several decades of old paint and even some fiberglass to make room for the new rudder. Posted by Hello

Uh oh...they made the rudder just the way I said! Now there is a gap at the forward edge. What to do... Posted by Hello

We made a dam for goo (epoxy) to fill the void between the rudder and the bottom ring. This...could...WORK! Posted by Hello

Hey, we're about to be on fixed income so is a cardboard rudder such a bad idea? Posted by Hello

Rudder man thinks he knows what he's doing. Sad, right? Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 08, 2005

The Sound of Diesel

Major progress. It's always nice to hear the diesel start up after sitting idle for an entire winter. Yesterday we changed the oil and filters as usual and started her up. Vroooooooommmmm! Instantly! That always amazes me but the nature off diesel engines is that if they have fuel being delivered and the cylinders have been warmed up....they HAVE to start!

I also finaly replaced the little oil pressure sender switch. This switch is normally closed the thereby completing a circuit to the warning buzzer if there is a big drop in oil pressure. That being the case, when you first turn the key on you should hear this beeping and now we do once again. One funny thing that we now have, and I think it is unrelated, is that when the engine is shut down the beeping should return. It does but not without about a 10 second delay! Can't figure that one out yet. I thought it might be the relay for the cylinder pre-heaters but it's not. It could be that the oil pressure doesn't drop instantly or at least the switch doesn't kick back to open right away. I don't think anything bad is happening while the engine is running. I'll study the circuit diagrams some more and see what I come up with.

We also made progress on insulating the frig better. Sue made styrofoam pads for the underside of the lid and glued them in place. We are working on making a better seal around the edge of the lids as well and this will probably always be a work in progress.

We put new hose from the new thru-hull for the head into the head itself. No problem there. One more problem remains regarding the thru-hull for the engine. The new thru-hull is 3/4" but the old pipe is 5/8". So I need to switch to 3/4" pipe but can' find a fitting to move the fitting at the other end of the pipe which is the water strainer from 1/2" up to 3/4". Of course. The exact fitting I need doesn't seem to exist! I want a bronze barb withe 1/2" thread on one end and a 3/4" barb on the other. Why is the plumbing on my boat so weird?

Sunday, May 01, 2005

How to make a hole...

OK, I know it is not that interesting but when you are drilling a 1" hole right through the bottom of your boat, the boat that you hopes takes you as far as the Florida Keys, well, it sure gets MY attention. The pictures below are a little out of order but I think you'll get the idea. The final deal is that this isn't that tough with a little forethought. Again, thanks to the master craftsman and problem solver, My DAD! for the sleeve idea.

Yesterday we got a coat of paint on the bottom. This is getting a little pointless. No matter how much I scrape and sand and think I've removed all the loose stuff, when I begin to roll some places I only peel off existing layers and put down very little paint! This boat really needs its whole bottom (spanked?) sand blasted and start over but I'm not up for the cost or mess of this job. Not now for sure.

Sue did a great job starting to put things away and straighten up our floating home. She also finished assembling the sea cock to the engine and tore out our old alcohol tank. What a woman! Someone ought to marry her! Starting to look like good old Enee Marie - Mistress of the Seas as Gary Brown puts it.

We went back up today to put the second coat on the bottom and perform regular maintenance on the engine but it was so stinking cold and rainy we decided to wait for better weather. I guess we could have made that decision before we drove all the way up there but our enthusiasm, once again, clouded our better judgement.

Here's the drill sleeve screwed down and ready for drilling! This guides the hole saw when there is nothing for the tap dill to grab onto. Posted by Hello

Here's the finished job on the inside showing wood pad, nut and thru hull. The sea cock screws onto this pipe and the coolant hose goes on that to the engine. Posted by Hello

Here's what the engine thru-hull looks like on the outside of the hull. A filter/cover goes over this to keep weeds out. Posted by Hello